Recently on the way to drop my daughter off at school, I completely cut someone off and they almost hit me! I was at a stop sign, waiting to turn right. I saw one car pass by, so I started turning and didn’t notice that a second car was right behind them! The driver honked and then pulled around and cut me off in an attempt to avoid hitting me.
To make matters worse, this woman lives on my street and her children go to my daughter’s school. I was behind her in the entire time in the drop off line! I felt so terrible and compelled to apologize. So I rehearsed my little speech as we waited in the line.
After the kids were dropped off, I passed the turn to my home and drove to hers. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: I wanted to come and apologize for cutting you off. I’m so sorry!
Her: I almost hit you and I was really mad!
Me: I would have been too, I’m so sorry! To be honest, I’m going through a rough time right now and I just wasn’t paying attention. I knew that you’re my neighbor and I wanted you to know I’m sorry.
Her: Thanks for apologizing. Don’t worry about it.
I decided to be vulnerable by telling her that life is hard for me right now, that I wasn’t on my A-game that morning. While it doesn’t excuse my lack of driving focus, it gave her a glimpse of my heart. I wanted to communicate that I didn’t cut her off intentionally, but that we all have bad days and make mistakes. I’m grateful that she was quick to forgive.
I suppose the lesson to be learned from this little incident is that we all need to pay attention. (Apparently, me with my driving!) We need to pay attention to people and remember that we have no idea what someone else is going through. We need to be quick to forgive and extend grace when we can because sometimes we’re the ones who need it.
We also need to learn how to be a little bit vulnerable sometimes. If we’re honest, we’re all walking around with some sort of brokenness. We live in a world where people hurt us. We live in a world where people get sick and tragedy strikes. We live in a world where the past haunts us and the future can seem uncertain.
Being vulnerable is one of the bravest things we can do. When we’re vulnerable, even just a little bit, it invites others to do the same. Some see vulnerability as weakness, maybe it is. But God does some of His best work with our weakness!
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV
So this week, I challenge you to share what you’re going through with someone. Give them a little glimpse into your heart. Or take the time to notice someone when you might otherwise rush through your day. I dare you to be a little vulnerable and see what God does with it.
One of my favorite songs right now is “If We’re Honest” by Francesca Battistelli. It’s all about being vulnerable. Listen to it here.